Sunday, November 28, 2010

Poop, Grammar, and Thanks

Teddy asks, "My pet reindeer, Blitzen, keeps going to the bathroom in my house (ON MY FAVORITE CARPET!), no matter how many times I tell him to do it in the backyard! HOW DO I STOP THIS MADDNESS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"

If the alternating series of question marks and exclamation points at the end of your question are any indication of the state of madness in which you find yourself, I am positively concerned. I can tell you are in immediate need of assistance. Luckily, I have the answer.

Your reindeer is pissed at you and his behavior needs to be corrected, lest he begins pooping in your bed, peeing in your house slippers, and making sweet, sweet love to your lady behind your back. He has clearly initiated reindeer revenge, and things will only get worse. Believe you me.

What's needed here is a little reverse psychology. Reindeer are stupid and will fall for this every time. They will also look at the ceiling if you tell them the word "gullible" is written up there. "Oh, man!" they'll exclaim upon finding a plain old ceiling overhead. But, tell them again a few minutes later, and they'll do it again. Dumb, I say.

Let's talk about this "favorite" rug of yours for a second. What's so great about it? I mean, really. What? Did someone special give it to you? You'll break up. Or they'll die. What? It matches the things in your room perfectly? Think again. Decorating isn't your strength, now, is it? It's okay. But let's be honest here before you get all bent out of shape about the rug. One day you won't want that rug anymore. It will look dated. You'll bring a girl over to your place for the first time, and you'll notice her eyes going straight to that rug upon entering. Her eyebrows will go up in surprise and she'll fake a "Oh, wow. Look. At. That. Rug. It's....interesting." You'll kick yourself for not giving it to Goodwill. This will be your only date with this girl.

Not only that, but one day you yourself will die, and guess what's not going with you? That rug. Even if you get buried with it, good luck getting it out in one piece if you come back from the dead. All the dirt you'll have to claw through. Who needs it? So, forget about the rug. This isn't about the rug. It's about that asshole reindeer you're living with.

Back to the reverse psychology. Institute a new house rule that all potty-making must be done on the rug. Sure, he'll call your bluff at first, but do not hesitate, when your bowels start a-grumblin', to scurry yourself over to that rug and let her go. Watch your reindeer's face with great satisfaction as you do so. "Wait! Wait!" he'll scream. "Oh my God! Why are you doing that? You'll mess up the rug! What- are you crazy?" Yes. Yes, you are. And you must be one step ahead of the reindeer in this department. Reindeer poops on the rug? You poop on the rug. Reindeer bites the mailman? You bite the mailman harder. Reindeer tosses a spoon down the garbage disposal? You toss your laptop. You must keep him in a constant state of alarm.

I guarantee if you follow this plan, your reindeer's behavior will change. Of course, you run the risk the following future scenario: A reindeer asks for advice on my blog. It seems he lives with a human who constantly poops on his favorite rug, bites the mailman, and throws electronics into the garbage disposal. He's in desperate need of some assistance.  He wants to know, "HOW DO I STOP THIS MADDNESS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"

Drew poses the question, "how do i tell my new english teacher that saying "you're doing it wrong." is incorrect grammatically? D:"
...says the guy who seems to have an aversion to capital letters.  Just pointing that out.

You're actually a bit in the wrong (noun) to blame your teacher for using the word wrong (adverb),  no matter how wrong (adjective) that may seem. "Wrong" can be used as a noun, adjective, or adverb. I'm guessing you would prefer to be told that you're doing something "incorrectly." In that case, keep up the resentment and try a couple of the following suggestions.
(1) Next time she tells you that you're doing it wrong, respond by saying "YOU'RE doing it wrong." Then sit back, cross your arms, and smile. Perhaps stick out your pointer finger just a tiny bit and wave it back and forth, like you're making tiny z's in the air.  
(2) Wear a shirt to class that reads, "I'm doing it wrong. My English teacher is doing it incorrectly."
(3) Next time your teacher says, "You're doing it wrong" you say, "You're doing it again." When she says, "What?" then you say, "Exactly." 
(4) Tell her, "Yeah? Well, I wrote the same thing on facebook last night, and I didn't get a squiggly line under it. So, who's wrong now? Huh? Who? Yeah, I thought so."   
(5) Ignore her comment, but compliment her shoes. This will make her confused and slightly uncomfortable. While she's trying to figure out what to say next, snatch your paper, roll it up, and lightly tap her on the head. "Voila!" you can yell. Pivot on your heel, turn back to give her a wink and a snap, and then be off. 
Amy asks, "Is it ok to send a " thank you" note via email, text message, or facebook??"

If you give my sister a present and watch her open it, it's very likely that you'll have a thank you card in your mailbox by the time you get home. During the holidays, she lines up various styles of notecards and has them ready to go. Open a gift. Write a note. Open a gift. Write a note.

I'm lucky to remember that the sweater I'm wearing is something you actually gave to me as a gift once. "Nice sweater," you might say. "Oh, this thing? I only wear it when I don't have anything else clean. I can't remember where I got it." Then I wonder why (a) I don't get the warmest reception next time we see each other and (b) I never again receive a gift from you. 

With that said, I think a thank you email, text message, or facebook post is a delightful idea. "thx 4 the gft crd 2 tivoli. u rock!" I guess if the gift is of a personal nature, you wouldn't really want to be putting it out there on facebook. But then again, who would give you gifts like this, but your husband. And then a simple, "Hey, thanks for the special lady-wear" while passing the toothpaste in the bathroom should suffice. 

Here's the deal: don't you say "thank you" when you receive the gift? "Oh, for me? Thank you!" Then you open it, followed by, "Oh my goodness! I love this [insert gift]! Thank you so much!" (That's twice now that the person has been thanked.) When the gift-giver and you part, you probably thank them again. "It was nice seeing you! Thanks again for the [insert gift]!" (That's three times.) Do you think by the time the gift giver gets home he/she will be building up a resentment about not getting thanked? A resentment that only a thank you note could fix? As in, "Hey, wait a minute. Did she thank me for that [insert gift]? I don't remember her thanking me. What a bitch. She better write me a thank you note, is all I'm saying." I mean, you thanked the person once. Twice. Thrice. What do they want you to do, take an ad out in the paper?

It would be like if you called someone on the phone and began with "hello." Then a few minutes later, you said, "Hey, did I say 'hello' to you? Because I want to make sure you heard me. 'Hello.'" Then a few more times during the conversation, you said "hello." Finally, a few days later, you write them a note saying "When I spoke to you the other day, I really wanted to greet you. Hello, from the bottom of my heart." It's too much. One hello is enough. As is one thank you. A verbal one. That's why God have us ears. So we could hear people thank us. He didn't give us eyes to help us read thank you notes. He gave them to us so we wouldn't bump into things.

Anyway, if you must follow up a thank you with a thank you, I applaud your venture into using modern technology.

p.s. A "thank you" below or on my facebook page is quite enough.


1 comment:

  1. Dear Sissy,
    Although I usually do not send a thank you via email as you indicated above, I would like to express my gratitude for your mentioning me in your blog.